"Church is not a place to be comfortable. We need to be changing the world." - Roberto Lara Aranda
Several Latiné ministries in the ELCA live in hierarchical conditions, usually under the leadership of white congregations or white senior pastors. How can we open spaces for a true welcomeness of diversity in respectful ways?
On Wednesday, June 15, we welcomed Roberto Lara Aranda (he, él), assistant to the bishop for communications and development of the ELCA Metropolitan New York Synod and the president of the board of the Latino Ministries Association of the ELCA. Roberto is a frequent guest speaker at conferences, meetings, and lectures on strategic communications, innovative presentations, non-verbal communications, and marketing research. He is also a leading champion of the social responsibility of organizations and their role in uplifting people and communities. A dual citizen with a deep commitment to a global perspective, Roberto has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Asia, and the U.S. He recently completed an Executive M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University in the City of New York.
Sixty-nine percent of U.S. consumers say it's important that the brands they buy are ethical, and 61 percent of U.S. consumers say they prefer to be associated with brands and companies that align with their own values. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies have helped organizations in the private sector understand the power and importance of keeping the triple-bottom-line in mind: people, planet, and profit. With this in mind, many brands and corporations have been able to adapt their business models and practices in order to attract new generations to their products or services.
Ethics and values are particularly important factors for mission-driven organizations like our church. However, in recent events, we witnessed how resistant our institution is to put people, ethics, and values above outdated processes, procedures, and practices. During this conversation, we explored what it means to belong to a mission-driven organization and the danger of ignoring its mission, purpose, and values.
We are mixing things up in 2022 as we continue to experiment and learn. You are invited to join us WEEKLY on Wednesdays at 1pm Central to hear from a variety of leaders. We will continue with our theme of COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP. We have invited various ministries to host these gatherings through this year, so it will be different each week. There will usually be time for small groups in breakout rooms so that leaders across the church can learn from each other and leave each gathering with at least one action step.
We are inviting you to bring a spirit of curiosity to these gatherings and to all aspects of your life. What are you noticing? Where is Spirit moving? How are you being invited to participate?